Conservatives Uncover Obama Plot to Destroy Phil Mickelson

According to the latest conspiracy theory, Obama sent the FBI and SEC to investigate the pro golfer because he once complained about high tax rates.

Chuck Burton/AP

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


Conservative conspiracy theories about President Barack Obama know no bounds. But the latest incarnation might be the craziest yet. It centers around Obama’s alleged plot to destroy pro golfer Phil Mickelson.

At the end of May it was reported that the FBI and SEC were investigating whether Mickelson and bigwig sports gambler and golf course owner Billy Walters had engaged in insider trading using secret knowledge obtained from billionaire investor Carl Icahn. The initial leaks suggested that Icahn may have given advance warning to Walters in 2011 that he was planning a takeover of Clorox, which Walters relayed to Mickelson so he could buy stock in the company right before its value soared.

Mickelson has denied wrongdoing and cooperated with authorities, and further news reports appear to absolve the golfer. (The SEC declined to comment for this story.) Last week, the New York Times reported that Mickelson hadn’t traded shares of Clorox, although the probe remains open on Icahn and Walters. But that hasn’t stopped conservative blogs from speculating about how the personal politics of Mickelson, Icahn, and Walters are the reason the federal government is investigating their business dealings.

“Our nation is under attack. The Obama Crime Family is at it again,” opens a blog post by Wayne Root at Glenn Beck’s The Blaze. “They are practicing the art of Chicago thug politics to kill free speech and ban political dissent. And no one is connecting the dots.” Root notes that each of the three have supported Republican causes or been critical of Obama. “You think that’s a coincidence? Not a chance,” he writes. “There is a six-year widespread pattern of conspiracy to take down critics and GOP donors. This is just more of the same pattern.”

Root isn’t alone. Conservative blog American Prosperity News Network also cried foul play on the part of the Obama administration. “What’s the crime these gentlemen are truly guilty of?” their post reads. “Criticizing—and funding the political opposition of—one Barack Hussein Obama. He knows that ObamaCare is an abysmal failure, and the VA Hospital, Benghazi and IRS scandals have made Democrats very politically vulnerable.”

All three do have ties to conservative politics. Last year Mickelson railed against high tax rates for millionaires. Icahn donated to Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign. Walters’ company chipped in $100,000 to a super-PAC devoted to maintaining the GOP’s majority in the US House. But the idea that Obama concocted a scheme to have the federal government root out a fake scandal for these minor slights is a tad far-fetched.

“Phil has never mentioned a political motivation or any other motivation, for any agency to include him in the investigation,” T.R. Reinman, a spokesperson for Mickelson, said in an e-mail to Mother Jones.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate